When you do a search for “online courses,” Udemy is most likely the first result that will show up.
It is one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, offering more than 100,000 online courses to over 30 millions students.
However, the platform isn’t without its drawbacks too, and the world of eLearning is developing rapidly with plenty of other sites like Udemy offering high quality online education.
In this article, I’ll present some of Udemy’s top alternatives and competitors that are worth a look.
Each platform has its own pros and cons, but in my opinion, they all beat Udemy in one area or another.
Whether it’s price or value for money, the credentials of instructors, the quality of the course content, specialization in a specific area, ability to get a certificate for completing courses, or other unique offerings.
Here’s a list of Udemy alternatives which may be more suited for you, depending on what kind of topics you’re wanting to learn about:
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If you aren’t familiar with Canva yet, it’s a powerful online graphic design tool. You can use the site to create all kinds of professional-looking graphics quickly and easily.
It’s really a revolutionary tool for website owners, bloggers, and business owners of all kinds. You can design graphics that look amazing on your own, and save thousands of dollars compared to hiring an artist.
Canva allows you to create logos, posters, presentations, flyers, infographics, brochures, book covers, letterhead, Facebook and Instagram posts, and so much more.
Canva has a template for just about any kind of graphic or document you could want to create.
To go along with its platform, Canva has launched their own design school. You can use this platform to learn about all sorts of creative topics. Here are just some of the options:
Obviously, some of Canva Design School’s lessons are tailored at working with the Canva Platform. They have an entire section on Canva-specific tutorials.
So some of the specific instructions may not be applicable to Photoshop or other design software.
However, they also offer a ton of theory and practical knowledge about design in general, which can be applied regardless of what software you end up using.
If you’re looking to pick up some knowledge about design for your business on a budget, then I think Canva Design School is worth exploring.
While Udemy offers lots of design courses of its own, I think Canva Design School is an alternative worth considering.
Bloc provides structured online training in topics like software development and web design.
In some ways, it’s a competitor to Udemy. But in another sense, it’s really in a whole class of its own.
While Udemy provides you with more casual courses that you can pick up and work through at your own pace.
Bloc is still designed for beginners. Content is also online and self-paced like Udemy, but it’s much more focused on outcomes.
If you sign up with this Udemy alternative, expect a much more challenging and rigorous program. Bloc courses require much more discipline, accountability, and consistency.
But in my opinion, you also get a lot more out of it. Bloc is more like a full university course rather than a basic online course that you can complete in a few hours.
It’s recommended that you have 25 hours per week to devote to study before you enroll.
The web developer track teaches you the fundamentals of both frontend and backend web development. The designer track will show you how to research, design, and build modern web applications.
Both are designed to get you a job within 6 months of completing the program.
The biggest drawback of Bloc for most people will be the price. It costs more than $4,000 to complete either of their courses.
Although they do guarantee that you’ll have the skills necessary to get a career by the end of the course, or your money back.
If you are serious about making a career switch into the world of web development or design, then Bloc is a Udemy alternative worth looking at.
This Udemy competitor dubs itself as the world’s largest free learning community. With 14 million learners on its platform, it certainly has the numbers to back up this claim.
Alison offers over 1,000 free online diploma courses on a broad range of topics. Various areas like technology, science, health, business, marketing, lifestyle, and others have many classes under their headings.
All of Alison’s course offerings are completely free. So you can receive comprehensive training on almost any topic, free of charge.
The downside is that Alison is not accredited. So while they offer their own paid certifications, they aren’t associated with educational institutions or anything to back this up.
The platform is great for picking up practical skills like how to design a website or become well versed in human nutrition, but it may not translate very well into items on your CV or resume.
Alison does offer a monthly premium plan for €7.99 per month, but this simply removes all advertisements, gives access to a CV builder, and provides discounts on buying certificates for courses that you’ve completed.
So if you’re trying Alison, I would recommend sticking with their free courses only.
The claim to fame for this Udemy competitor has been its language courses. Memrise offers courses in 16 languages and has more than 35 million registered users.
Its lessons have a heavy focus on the use of flashcards and repetition to speed up the rate of learning.
Memrise has expanded in recent years to now include courses on a wide variety of other subjects.
You can take various courses under the headings of maths and science, the natural world, history and geography, arts and literature. They even have sections on entertainment, memory training, and standardized tests.
So there is lots to choose from. In total they offer hundreds of different courses.
However, I still feel that Memrise’s strong point and original purpose was for learning languages. So that is what I would recommend it for.
If you’re looking to quickly learn any of the big world languages like French, Spanish, German, Italian, or others, then I would recommend giving Memrise a try as an alternative to Udemy.
Memrise is free to use on both desktop and mobile.
If you’re comparing Memrise to other language-learning alternatives like Duolingo and trying to decide which to pick, I don’t feel that it’s necessarily an either-or decision.
Both have their own strengths. Memrise is better for learning and memorizing individual words or phrases.
While Duolingo is better at teaching users how to construct sentences. So you may want to try both platforms alongside each other.
You can think of Udemy like a restaurant that has a set menu. You pick and choose individual items on the menu, and you pay for each one separately.
Their competitor Skillshare is more like a buffet. For a subscription of $15 per month or $99 per year, you get “all you can learn” access to thousands of online courses.
Courses on Skillshare have more of a focus on being interactive and helping you to complete a specific goal or project, as opposed to merely lecturing about theory.
So while the courses aren’t accredited, you can use them to pick up lots of practical skills. Both in business and other areas of your life.
Skillshare has a strong focus on courses related to creative topics.
So I’d most recommend the platform as Udemy alternative if you’re primarily interested in learning about things like writing, photo and film, illustration, design, and similar topics.
Skillshare’s courses are taught by people with substantial experience in the industry they’re talking about. This is in contrast to their competitor Udemy, where anyone can sign up to be an instructor.
For this reason, Skillshare offers more consistently-high quality when it comes to their courses, and you know what you’re going to get.
If you’re on the fence about joining Skillshare, they do offer a good amount of free courses.
So it might be worth trying out one of these courses to get a feel for the platform and see if it’s something that would be worth paying a subscription for.
Read my article comparing Skillshare vs Udemy in more depth.
Coursera is a Udemy alternative that allows you to learn through online courses that are taught by professors from some of the world’s top educational institutions.
So your lessons may be delivered by staff from prestigious schools like Stanford or Yale. Or even by employees who work directly in companies like IBM and Google.
In terms of instructors, this is a massive step up compared to what Udemy has available.
While Coursera has less courses available than Udemy overall, the courses they do have are much more extensive. You might be able to complete a course on Udemy in a couple of hours.
While a Coursera course might take weeks or months to finish, depending on the pace you’re studying at.
In fact, there are some full bachelor or master’s degrees available on Coursera. So naturally, these courses go much deeper into the subject matter than what Udemy courses are able to offer.
While Coursera may not be able to match Udemy’s 100,000+ courses available, they do boast a catalog of nearly 3,000 active courses.
These cover a large range of topics including social sciences, business, computer science, and more.
Most of Coursera’s course content is available for free. But some courses do give you the option to purchase a certificate once you’ve completed them.
Since Coursera is connected with educational institutions, many of their certifications are accredited and will look better on your resume than credentials from most other e-learning platforms.
Udemy is great for small courses that are only a few hours long and cover basic concepts.
But if you’re looking to really learn about a topic in-depth, you need an alternative like Coursera that offers much more comprehensive courses.
LinkedIn Learning is another Udemy competitor that opts to use a subscription pricing model, instead of charging individually for courses.
This alternative platform also puts a strong focus on topics related to business and marketing.
So it’s best aimed at working professionals who are looking to gain additional skills and knowledge that they may need to climb the corporate ladder.
A subscription to LinkedIn Learning costs $30 per month, and the platform does not offer any free course material. But you can get a one month free trial that you can cancel at any time, if you want to see what it has to offer before making a monetary commitment.
LinkedIn Learning has over 15,000 courses led by experts. You can watch their courses any time on your phone or computer, and you receive a certificate once you’ve finished a course.
There are also exercises and quizzes to test what you’ve learned.
If you already have a LinkedIn account, you also receive personalized course recommendations for topics that the platform thinks may be relevant to you.
These recommendations are based on your current job, skills, and what similar professionals are learning.
A LinkedIn Learning membership also gives you access to LinkedIn’s premium career features.
This includes access to see who has viewed your LinkedIn profile, salary and job insights, and being a Featured Applicant when you apply to jobs.
LinkedIn Learning does offer some non-business topics like software development, photography, and graphic design.
But I would mostly recommend it for employees in a corporate setting like accountants, marketers, and sales staff.
These are the types of areas where the platform really excels, and where most of its content is concentrated.
If most of your reasoning behind taking online courses is about improving your job performance and employability, then LinkedIn Learning is a Udemy alternative that you take a careful look at.
This Udemy competitor is a non-profit educational organization. The course material they offer is targeted at students and is a lot more academic in nature.
If you’re searching for some of the more unique topics on Udemy like “How to get a job in the video game industry” or a course in chakra healing, you won’t find it on Khan Academy.
What you will find is one of the best free online resources when it comes to educational topics.
Khan Academy has a full math curriculum for kids of all ages, from kindergarten all the way up to the 8th grade.
Plus more advanced math subjects like calculus, algebra, and trigonometry.
You can also learn about topics like physics, biology, health and medicine, electrical engineering, computer science, history, economics, and more.
Khan Academy is definitely focused on course content for kids aged 2 to 18. That’s where their material really excels. If you’re looking to learn a new skill or trade, they won’t have much to offer.
But when it comes to educational topics and understanding how the world works, they’re an awesome alternative to Udemy. Especially considering that all of their course material is absolutely free.
If you’re at home with the kids for long periods of time, it can also be a great resource for parents to get lots of free coloring books, activities, and educational videos to help pass the time.
But the unique selling point of the platform is who teaches its courses. On Udemy, any random person can sign up to instruct a course of their own.
They don’t necessarily need any credentials, or even experience in the field they’re teaching about.
Masterclass is very different. Its instructors are exclusively made up of people who are world-class experts in their subject area. This includes famous celebrities, chefs, authors, and more.
You can learn about filmmaking and acting from people like Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Natalie Portman.
You can access guitar lessons from famous guitarists like Carlos Santana and Tom Morello. Or get singing lessons from Christina Aguilera.
Or you can learn to write from lessons featuring authors like Dan Brown, Malcolm Gladwell, or Neil Gaiman.
That’s an experience that other competition like Udemy will never be able to match.
You can buy individual Masterclass courses for $90 each. Or if there are multiple topics that you think you may be interested in, I’d highly recommend paying for their $180 annual subscription instead, which gives you access to their full library of material.
Udemy has certainly made a name for itself, and offers the most online courses of any e-learning platform.
Some of the best Udemy courses are taught by experiences tutors and receive thousands of 5 star reviews.
But just because something is the biggest, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best.
After reading through some of my suggested Udemy competitors and alternatives in this article, I hope you’ll consider giving some of them a try.
Many of them have lots of course material available completely for free.
Others really specialize in a particular area.
Whether that’s using Memrise to learn languages, or Canva Design School to learn design.
So first decide what topic you want to learn about, and then try one of the options above that is best suited for that type of learning.
Don’t just default to the first result when you do a search for online courses. You could be missing out on something awesome!
Jacob has a background in finance and engineering. Outside of his day job, he is a lifelong learner, who enjoys reading, taking online courses, and writing about what he's learned.
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